Our Catholic faith is so very rich in special devotions to Our Lord, our Lady, and the many Saints; I’ve always been a bit of a geek about beautiful devotions, but here I just want to share with you a few of the ones that are most dear to my heart.
“Pray, pray very much. Make sacrifices for sinners.
Many souls go to hell, because no one is willing to sacrifice and pray for them.”
-Our Lady of Fatima
Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary
according to the method of St. Louis de Montfort
“This is the will of God Who willed that we should have all things through Mary.
If then, we possess any hope or grace or gift of salvation,
let us acknowledge that it comes to us through her.”
This devotion is, I believe, as St. Louis de Montfort has said, the most perfect form of devotion to our most Blessed Mother. In giving ourselves and all we possess totally to her for Christ’s sake, we receive in return Mary and all she possesses. My total consecration is certainly one of the most beautiful and undeserved gifts I have ever received from our Lord, and I pray that many others will be blessed with the grace of giving themselves totally to Jesus through Mary. You can learn much more about this devotion from St. Louis de Montfort himself in his beautiful book True Devotion to Mary.
The Daily Family Rosary
“If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins ‘you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.’ Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if– and mark well what I say– if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.”
-St. Louis de Montfort from The Secret of the Rosary
Our daily family Rosary is something we’ve had to fight for. It has not only become an anchor of our family’s domestic liturgy, but an indissoluble cord that binds us together and to Our Lord and Lady. We certainly have our share of interruptions, people dozing off, and occasional neglectfulness, but there are few things I can think of that are more worth the effort to persevere in.
The Confraternity of Angelic Warfare
“For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly passions and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age. . .” Titus 2: 11-12
My younger brother, after having read a book about St. Thomas Aquinas (whose name he would later bear in Confirmation), led our whole family into this confraternity, founded by this saint of angelic purity. Once it was customary for Catholic children to be enrolled in this confraternity when they were confirmed, just as it was for them to be enrolled in the Brown Scapular after First Holy Communion. Although sadly this practice has been largely neglected, it is still alive.
Members of the Confraternity of Angelic warfare have two simple obligations: to wear always St. Thomas’s cord of chastity (or Confraternity medal), and to pray fifteen Hail Marys daily, on behalf of all members of the confraternity, for fifteen intentions related to chastity and purity:
1. For our social and cultural climate
2. For our relationships
3. For modesty in dress and movements
4. For our five senses
5. For our sensuality
6. For our imagination
7. For our memory
8. For our power of estimation
9. For our affectivity
10. For our intellect
11. For our will
12. For our conscience
13. For our hearts
14. For self-surrender
15. For love
For more information, you can visit www.angelicwarfare.org
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
“My Heart hath expected reproach and misery: and I looked for one that would
grieve together with Me, but there was none: and for one that would comfort me,
and I found none.”
I do not think there is a devotion to Our Lord that is so comforting as the devotion to His Sacred Heart. It is so rich I feel I’ll be discovering its beauties for the rest of my earthly life, and (I pray!) for all eternity. There are many wonderful ways to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus, but my favorites are the Enthronement of the Home to the Sacred Heart, the Litany of the Sacred Heart, and the First Fridays (you can learn more about all of these here.)
The Seven Sorrows of Mary
“To what shall I compare thee, unto what shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem?
What shall I equal to thee, and with what shall I comfort thee, O Virgin daughter of Sion?
For great as the sea is thy destruction.”
My sister and I pray the Seven Hail Marys in honor of our Lady’s Seven Dolors with our night prayers. There are wonderful promises attached to this devotion, but most importantly it is a somber and beautiful way of never forgetting all that our dear Mother suffered for our sake along with Jesus. Her Seven Sorrows are:
The Prophecy of Simeon,
The Flight into Egypt,
The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple,
Mary Meets Jesus on the Way to Calvary,
Jesus Dies Upon the Cross,
Jesus is Taken from the Cross and Placed in the Arms of His Mother
Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
The Fourteen Holy Helpers
“We are the Fourteen Helpers, and desire that a chapel be built for us.
Be our servant, and we shall serve you.”
If you’ve looked much at this blog at all, you’ve probably discovered that I have a thing for the Fourteen Holy Helpers: St. George, St. Blaise, St. Pantaleon, St. Vitus, St. Erasmus, St. Christopher, St. Denis, St. Cyriacus, St. Achatius, St. Eustace, St. Giles, St. Catherine, St. Margaret of Antioch, and St. Barbara. Upon discovering them in Treasury of Catholic Stories, their tale fascinated me so much (right around the time of the beginning of this blog) that Ut Cum Electis Videamus is dedicated in a special way to them. I try to post each of their novenas and share information about each of them. I feel that perhaps, in a small way, they desire that I should serve them by making them more known and loved, that this blog is a little monument I am building for them. And who knows? Maybe I will be blessed with at least fourteen children to entrust to each one of them!
You can read more extensively about the devotion to these fourteen Saints, and all they have done for me, here.
Quattuordecim Sanctus Adjutores, ora pro nobis!
The Angel of Happy Meetings
“The Angel of the Lord, Raphael, took and bound the devil.
Great is our Lord, and great is His power.”
-Gradual from the Feast of St. Raphael, October 24th
Saint Raphael is traditionally invoked by those seeking a spouse. Hence I’ve prayed to him for a while to be drawn to my future husband. As I’ve begun to seriously discern the religious life, I know this dear archangel’s help is still very necessary for me. I still pray he leads me to my future spouse–whether that spouse be man or God-man! And if I am to be a religious, I also pray that he will lead me to the particular community God has planned me for. Below is my favorite prayer.
Dear Saint Raphael, Angel of Happy Meetings, lead us by the hand towards those we are waiting for, and those who are waiting for us. May all our movements, all their movements, be guided by thy light and transfigured by thy joy.
Angel guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to thee at the feet of Him on whose unveiled face thou art privileged to gaze. (Mention your request.) Lonely and weary, deeply grieved by the separation and sorrows of earth, we feel the need of calling out to thee and of pleading for the protection of thy wings so that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy.
Remember the weak, thou who art strong, whose home lies beyond the region of thunder, in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright with the resplendent glory of God.
“Remember, Christian soul, that thou hast this day, and every day of thy life. . .”
Some friends and I discovered these wonderful Subjects for Daily Meditation in the 1962 Missal from Angelus Press, and made a resolution together to spend five minutes each morning and evening in meditation, using one of them each time until we finish the list, and then to begin it again. It certainly isn’t as easy as it sounds to set aside those five little minutes, but I’ve already benefited greatly from my attempts to keep up this simple practice. They are:
God to glorify,
Jesus to imitate,
The Angels and Saints to invoke,
A soul to save,
A body to mortify,
Sins to expiate,
Virtues to acquire,
Hell to avoid,
Heaven to gain,
Eternity to prepare for,
Time to profit by,
Neighbors to edify,
The world to despise,
Devils to combat,
Passions to subdue,
Death perhaps to suffer,
And Judgment to undergo.
Even if it’s only one of these a day for a couple of minutes, I highly encourage you to try to get into the habit of meditating on these subjects. There is so much spiritual fruit to be obtained through simple meditation and recollection!
God bless you!